Spring into Health with a Vegetable Garden

Spring peepers, rain storms, crocus and daffodils. Spring has sprung! Soon, it will be time to turn over the soil and get your vegetable garden planted. Having a vegetable garden is a great way to provide yourself with affordable access to fresh food and reap many other positive health benefits!

Did you know that gardening reduces stress, improves mood and can positively impact your heart health? The CDC notes that moderate exercise (like gardening) for 2.5 hours a week may reduce the likelihood of developing obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death. Wow!

Numerous studies have also linking time spent outside in fresh air and natural light to lowered rates of depression, mood disorders, and ever ADHD. The soil in which your vegetables grow is also getting a lot attention for its role in mental health. Recent research has shown that friendly bacteria (Mycobacterium vaccae) in healthy soils may reduce symptoms of major mood disorders.

Consider turning a small patch of your lawn into a food garden for fresh and delicious food, improved mood, and overall good health!

New to gardening? Check out these great resources:

Beginning Vegetable Gardening

Planting Veggies

Don’t have space to grow your own food? Try container gardening on your porch, stoop or balcony or join a community garden. For more information on container gardening, check out this great resource: Container GardeningTo find a community garden near you, check out the list below.

Community Garden Networks in SE Michigan

Kelly Wilson is the Local Food Coordinator for SE Michigan. She is a registered dietitian and owner of Simple Gifts Farm in Oxford, MI. Contact her at [email protected]